Have politics changed?

Future Chief Justice Earl Warren was the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate under Thomas Dewey in the 1948 presidential election. In 1952 he chose to run for President and did control California’s delegates but not many more outside of those delegates. The race was almost a tie going to the convention between Robert Taft and Dwight Eisenhower. Warren was hoping that the convention would be deadlocked and that after several ballots he would be the compromise candidate. A California representative named Richard Nixon was in the California delegation and he had quite a few supporters in the delegation. Warren was unaware that Nixon had already accepted Eisenhower’s offer for the VP spot. There was going to be a pivotal vote on seating some Taft supporters at the convention. The initial decision by Warren was going to be that California would vote 50-50 on the vote and thereby remain neutral. After a lot of backroom squabbling Warren decided to allow the delegates to ‘vote their conscious’. The Nixon supporters all voted heavily for Eisenhower which was just enough to prevent the seating of the Taft supporters. This proved to be just enough votes to allow Eisenhower to come within 10 votes of the nomination on the first ballot and after that ballot delegates started to change their votes as it became obvious that Eisenhower would prevail. At this point Eisenhower did not even need the California delegations votes. After the nomination Eisenhower met with Warren and Eisenhower was very grateful for the votes in the seating process and in return offered Warren the next available Supreme Court seat and Warren accepted. Very soon after taking office the current Chief Justice unexpectedly died leaving the Chief Justice position open. Eisenhower did not want to name any of the other justices to the Chief Justice position so the new Justice would be Chief Justice. However he did not want that to be Earl Warren and asked him to wait for the next opening. Warren reminded Eisenhower of his promise and told him that he would take a regular Justice position if Eisenhower wanted to name one of the current members as Chief Justice but he knew Eisenhower would not do that. Eisenhower felt that he had no choice since he he did not want to get a reputation of going back on his word. Earl Warren became the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

(Book – Chief Justice – Ed Cray)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.